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Capabilities Upper Extremity Questionnaire (CUE-Q)
Supplemental: Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and SCI-Pediatric (age 16 and over)
Exploratory: SCI-Pediatric (age 6-15)
Short Description of Instrument
Construct measured: Upper Extremity Function
Generic vs. disease specific: SCI-specific
Means of administration: Self-reported measure performed by interview
Intended respondent: Participant
#of items: 32
Comments/Special Instructions
Scoring: The right and left limbs are evaluated and scored separately on a scale ranging between 0 (unable\complete difficulty) to 4 (no difficulty). The CUE-Q has been used to predict and evaluate outcomes.
Background: This is a self-reported outcomes instrument. There are 15 items asking about use of the right or left extremity, and 2 about actions requiring both arms, for a total of 32 items. The original version of the CUE-Q used a 7-point scale of perceived limitations completing the action. It has since been revised to a 5-point scale of perceived difficulty completing an action, to conform to the qualifiers of function found in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. The CUE-Q has been used to evaluate improvements after upper extremity reconstructive procedures and used in a pilot study to predict the ability of individuals with tetraplegia to self-catheterize after continent diversion. The measure has been recommended as a valid measure of upper extremity and hand function in a chronic SCI population.
Strengths/Weaknesses: This is a self-report test to assess perception of difficulty with performance of activities if a self-report test is to be used rather than a performance-based test, then this is the best choice for self-report.
Recommended for use in individuals with subacute and chronic injuries.
Psychometric Properties: Strong test-retest reliability (ICC=0.94); High correlation with FIM; able to discriminate between cervical levels. A simplified version of the CUE-Q (item responses reduced from 7 to 5 levels) was found to be as responsive as the original version.
Akhavan A, Baker K, Cannon GM, Davies B, Horton JA 3rd, Docimo SG. Pilot evaluation of functional questionnaire for predicting ability of patients with tetraplegia to self-catheterize after continent diversion. J Spinal Cord Med. 2007;30(5):491-496. Erratum in: J Spinal Cord Med. 2008;31(1):26.   
Marino RJ, Shea JA, Stineman MG. The Capabilities of Upper Extremity instrument: reliability and validity of a measure of functional limitation in tetraplegia. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1998;79(12):1512-1521.  
Marino RJ, Patrick M, Albright W, Leiby BE, Mulcahey M, Schmidt-Read M, Kern SB. Development of an objective test of upper-limb function in tetraplegia: the capabilities of upper extremity test. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2012;91(6):478-486.
Mulcahey MJ, Hutchinson D, Kozin S. Assessment of upper limb in tetraplegia: considerations in evaluation and outcomes research. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2007;44(1):91-102.
Oleson CV, Marino RJ. Responsiveness and concurrent validity of the revised capabilities of upper extremity-questionnaire (CUE-Q) in patients with acute tetraplegia. Spinal Cord. 2014;52(8):625-628.


Document last updated June 2020